Check out these awesome safari bags! Getting ready for an amazing safari in Africa? You may already have the destination in mind, plane tickets booked, and reservation at a dream inspiring African lodge. The next step is to gather all the safari gear you will need to get you through this trip.
We have been on over 100 safaris and can’t recommend sturdy and quality gear enough. Why? If you go cheap on safari bags or safari clothes in Africa and something goes wrong there is no replacing them on short notice.
However, with so many options to choose from it can be hard to pick a safari bag that matches your style and comfort. Don’t worry though! We’ve got you covered with our favorites ranging in all shapes, sizes, prices, and even colors.
The Best Safari Bags
Patagonia Black Hole 55L ($139)
Hop on any bush flight and you’re bound to see this safari bag under the plane or its rear. Patagonia’s Black Hole bags have taken over adventure travel and outdoor sports. It’s a slam dunk for us as the bag is waterproof, soft, and can swallow a ton of clothes/gear.
Patagonia’s unique TPU film laminate polyester ripstop has a slick look that’s equally durable. In recent years they’ve also made the material 100% recyclable an awesome eco-friendly step. While it’s unlikely your bag will face too much water on safari, but the weatherproofing does translate well to dust protection for rides in the back of a safari truck.
The bag can pack down small when empty so it’s great to stick in your bag. It was also plenty easy to stuff and organize, thanks to the large U-shaped zipper and two mesh pockets on the top flap. It’s also super lightweight an important aspect we look for in our safari bags. You have the option of four sizes, but we recommend the 55L as it’s a large size without being too cumbersome.
Filson Medium Rugged Twill Duffel Bag ($395)
Filson delivers some beautiful products that have clear attention to detail that make for a gorgeous safari bag. Its unparalleled build quality gives us assurance the bag should last a lifetime or at the very least a decade.
The twill is very robust and durable able to resist stains and abrasion. It’s 43L is enough for a savvy packer, or you can opt for the large version at 73L. Our only complaint would be for a better internal organization.
Texbo Cowhide Leather Duffel ($160)
This leather bag is thick, durable, maintains a vintage look despite being brand new. The bag has two side zipper pockets on the outside, an interior pocket, a front zippered pocket, and one main compartment large enough to fit all you need for a week-long safari in it.
It’s also sturdy enough to protect electronics like a laptop or a safari camera. The bag itself weighs 1.8kg. It’s not a well-known brand name, but for a decent price you end up with a good looking leather safari bag.
Saddleback Leather Safari Backpack ($598)
Saddleback makes some of the best quality backpacks – hands down. Their leather backpacks are the best safari backpacks on the market and we don’t travel anywhere without them. They aren’t cheap by any means, but they are quality. Saddleback Leather ensures its products with a 100-year warranty.
They only use sturdy materials on their bags including full-grain leather, pigskin lining, and marine-grade polyester thread. The lower back section is padded with Neoprene and the shoulder straps are completely adjustable. No, this bag won’t hold all of your safari luggage but is perfect for an overnight bag or as a carry-on addition to your main safari travel bag. This bag weighs 3.9 Pounds
Buffalo Jackson Denver Waxed Canvas Bag ($319)
We love this canvas bag from Buffalo Jackson for another stylish canvas bag. It has a classic style and makes for a great weekend bag of small safari bag for short jaunts or bush flights. The waxed canvas is paired nicely with full-grain leather for a great look.
Polare Genuine Leather Weekender Safari Duffel ($159)
If you’re looking for one of those traditional Italian designed leather bags then the Polare is your answer. This 23″ bag is stylish, strong, and made of all-natural cowhide.
If you think it looks great in the photos, just wait until the product ages a bit! This bag is beautiful for both men and women on safari and at less than $200 the price is great too!
North Face Base Camp 50L ($139)
The North Face Base Camp is likely the adventure bags that work well for as a safari bag. This bag has been a staple of the duffel market and for a long time left competitors attempting to keep up.
I love that the shoulder straps are plush and allow for the bag to be carried like a backpack. It’s made with a durable material that is both rugged and weather resistant. It’s everything I look for in a great duffel bag for travel. North Face also makes a version with wheels called the North Face Rolling Thunder.
Komal’s Vintage Leather Duffel ($69)
When I saw this bag all I could say was WOW. This genuine leather bag is the perfect size for a short safari. There are two side pockets that are perfect for accessories and a detachable shoulder strap should you wish to remove it.
The bag comes in under $100 for tremendous value for anyone hoping to get a quality product without spending a fortune. Keep in mind it’s not the highest leather or build quality, but a great deal.
S-ZONE Oversized Canvas Weekend Bag ($49)
A canvas safari bag is a great option if you are trying to steer away from all leather products. The S-Zone Canvas bag is fashionable for both men and women and comes in Gray/Khaki/Black/Blue/Army Green/Coffee colors.
This safari duffle bag is roomy and good for those not traveling with much while on safari. It can be used as a carry-on flight bag. Note that this bag still uses leather for the straps and handles and weighs about 4.5 lbs.
Herschel Supply Co. Novel Duffle Bag ($85)
You really can’t go wrong with any Herschel product. This is a great piece of soft-sided luggage for safari. At only 2lb this bag is also a great lightweight safari luggage option.
The Herschel Duffle bag is 100% polyester and features their signature shoe compartment for easy and organized travel while keeping to a classic and simple style. What I like about this bag is that it’s not only a great option for a safari, but also for just everyday life back at home. Take it to the gym, to work, or overnight somewhere and it doesn’t look out of the ordinary.
Aidonger Unisex Canvas Travel Duffel Bag
The Aidonger Canvas Travel bag is the cheapest bag on this list. If you are looking for something quick and easy to buy without spending a lot of money, this is your bag. It’s made in China, but hey it’s $30!
The Aidonger is 25 centimeters wide and made from canvas. It’s more of bag to carry your necessities rather than your main piece of luggage. It has a lot of pockets – eight to be exact. I like that this bag is hand washable in case you get it dirty while on safari!
There are five colors available – black, coffee, dark blue, gray, and khaki and plenty of other affordable options on the Aidonger Amazon page!
What Makes a Great Safari Bag?
You’ll want to make sure that your safari bag adheres to the size restrictions enforced on the small bush and charter flights. Many African lodges are remote so chances are you may need to hop on a bush flight to start your safari.
Most bush flights allow a maximum of 30 kg on the plane. If taking a chartered plane you will most likely be flying on a Cessna 206, Cessna 210, Cessna Caravans, or Twin Otters and these planes get full and cramped fast!
Speaking of airline restrictions many small aircraft carriers only allow you to have soft-sided bags as your luggage. As mentioned, these planes are small so they have to maneuver and maybe even squash your bag onto the plane. That’s why they impose harsh safari luggage restrictions. This just simply isn’t doable with a hard shell piece of luggage and is why you will need a soft travel bag for safari.
You’ll want to make sure you have a safari travel bag that can take all that bush can throw at it. A good rugged bag is essential while dealing with the dirt, dust, elephants (not really), and every other African element. Having rock-solid construction while still being soft and bendable to adhere to the strict African planes is essential.
Good safari luggage means comfort. Everything from the main compartment, straps, handles, and zippers should be built to keep you traveling comfortably. If its hard to carry
At the end of the day, you want your luggage for safari to look great. All of these safari bags on this list are beautifully designed inside and out.
Essential Items For A Safari
There are a few things that one should pack for an African Safari:
A good hat is both stylish and functional. In peak dry season there is little to provide shade, UV rays are intense and can easily burn the unsuspecting traveler. Check out our full break down of the best safari hats here!
I used this a lot in the on my Ruaha safari. Early mornings in the park can be pretty chilly so it helps break the cold. Once the sun comes out temperatures climb and things get very dusty. So, I use the shemagh to cover my face and electronics.
If you’re planning on going on a walking safari, make sure to pack a good pair of safari boots.
If you want to be able to spot and identify wildlife and birds then a good pair of safari binoculars is a must.
Make sure to get travel insurance before your international trip. We like to use World Nomads!
If you want to get decent photos of wildlife on your safari to make sure to grab a camera well suited for your safari.
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Last Updated on February 27, 2020